Padres notes: Musgrove finishes strong; Padres make Giants wait
Joe Musgrove came home and had a career year.
After allowing the Giants a run in five innings Saturday in his final start of the season, Musgrove set career bests in ERA (3.18), innings (181 1/3), strikeouts (203) and WHIP (1.08).
The 28-year-old Grossmont High alumnus was the Padres’ only starting pitcher to not go on the injured list this season. The only start he missed was when he instead pitched five perfect innings of relief on May 30 while spelling a taxed bullpen.
“I think I’m most proud of posting up and taking the ball every fifth day,” Musgrove said. “That’s half the battle for winning teams is keeping your guys healthy and staying on the field.”
Half of Musgrove’s 30 starts were quality starts, and he went at least five innings 26 of the 31 times he pitched.
“Just being the guy he’s been all year,” manager Jayce Tingler said of how Musgrove finished. “… So consistent, an absolute warrior throughout the year.”
Musgrove entered the season with a 4.33 career ERA, including a 4.59 mark in 83 starts.
In addition to throwing the first no-hitter in Padres history on April 9, Musgrove’s return to his hometown saw him yield the seventh-lowest WHIP (1.08) and ninth-lowest batting average (.219) by a Padres pitcher in a 162-game season.
“It was awesome,” he said of pitching in San Diego. “My results speak for how I felt about it. … There’s room for improvement, but it is by far the best I’ve pitched, most consistent I’ve pitched for a full season.”
The Giants may still clinch the National League West on Saturday if the Dodgers lose to the Brewers.
It would be San Francisco’s ninth division title — and their seventh on a day in which they played the Padres.
They just couldn’t do it against the Padres, who came back for a 3-2 victory in 10 innings at Oracle Park on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s nice to delay a celebration in front of you,” Tingler said.
The Giants held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before the Padres tied the game twice, both on RBIs by Manny Machado. His single in the sixth inning scored Trent Grisham, and his eighth-inning sacrifice fly drove in pinch-runner Javy Guerra.
Jake Cronenworth’s double off Jarlin Garcia in the 10 th scored Victor Caratini, who began the inning on second base. Mark Melancon then retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the inning to retake the major league lead with his 39th save.
The victory stopped the Padres’ losing streak at seven games. They are 4-17 since Sept. 10 with all four victories coming against the Giants, whose 106-55 record is the best in the major leagues.
It was also just the fourth time the Padres have come back to win a game since Aug. 10, a span of 45 games. They have just 12 wins in that span.
The Giants clinched their 1971, ‘87, ‘97, 2003, ’10 and ’12 division titles on days they played the Padres.
This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune .